Enfilade Less Than Two Months Away


We’re about to start week two of Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home self-quarantine.  I confess to feeling cooped up, but I am painting for Enfilade which is only fifty some odd days away.  I check the coronavirus numbers on the Washington Post that are updated regularly. Though the curve is bent somewhat,  cases in Washington state continue to increase regularly.  Though we should get an update for the governor’s ban on gatherings Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine the convention comes off. There simply is no good news.

Even so, I am planning as though the Enfilade is still a go. That means I have to finish my projects. I still have a couple of irons in the fire. The first is the Ploesti project.  I hoped to have them finished by Sunday the 29th, but I just don’t see it happening. All the tedious lining is completed, but there is still lots of detailing to do–plexiglass panels, nose art, exhaust plumes, lettering and numbering and decals.  Everything is a bit slow, because of the size of the miniatures. I’m hoping for Tuesday.

cav 2

The other big project is the the Philippine-American scenario.  This is one that still needs work.  I finished the last of the American units today.  There are still 32 more bolo-armed Philippine figures to paint.  They’ll go fast, once I get started on them.  I will have painted a considerable number of figures for this in the end.  That’s great, wrapping up this project is high on my list.  When the figures for this scenario is complete, I will still have plenty left to paint, but it’s a project I really want to wrap up.

In addition to the figures, however, is still a fair amount of stuff to do.  I have a pair of 4Ground buildings to complete, plus some additional terrain bits to make that are central to the scenario.  I’ve actually made a lot of progress in this area, but I still have a ways to go.

I’m far more concerned about a lack of opportunity to play test these games than I am finishing the work.  The Stay-At-Home rules make things tough, both for places to play and gathering gamers together to play them.  I think the Ploesti game will be fine, but the Philippine game has some moving parts that really need a couple of walks through.


Shiny Objects-My Dance with 1898 Miniaturas.

You’re miniature wargamers.  You know what I’m talking about.  A manufacturer comes out with something new–maybe it’s a period that’s always interested you, maybe it’s an interesting set of rules to go with interesting miniatures, maybe they’re simply the nicest miniatures you’ve ever seen from a period that holds a magnetic attraction on your passions.

I can say, honestly, that I’ve always been attracted by periods and passions and not to figures.  The Hundred Years War, American War of Independence, and a host of other periods have attracted my gaming dollars and the time it takes to paint up a project because I have a deep interest in the period.  Aside-most mainstream interest; War of Independence.  Least mainstream project: Tie between the Lewis and Clark Expedition and The Burr Conspiracy.

About three years ago, at age 61, I was looking around at a last new project.  Let’s just define our terms here, since that often breeds confusion.  By last project, I mean a last new, never begun before new project.  It would mean buying and painting both sides, and all the time that demanded. I was particularly interested in a colonial project.  Osprey had just released Daniel Mersey’s The Men Who Would Be Kings, and I loved Lion Rampant.  Lacking any armies from that period, I was intrigued.

Vols 1

Vols 2

A couple of photos of Old Glory’s volunteers.  State and U.S. Volunteers fought in the Philippine War.  The chief difference between the regulars and the volunteers is that the latter was armed with the 1873 pattern Sprinfield (trapdoor) rifle that fired a black powder cartridge.  Regulars carried the Krag with its distinctive side mount magazine and smokeless cartridges.

My first choice was Egypt and the Sudan.  I was in from Tel-el-Kebir all the way to Omdurman.  The Perrys had a nice range of figures, and I could fill in from other manufacturers, so I was kind of hot to go.  With a conflict lasting from 1882-1898, there would be plenty to keep me busy.

At about this time 1898 Miniaturas appeared on The Miniatures Page.  The photos showed the figures to be truly beautiful, and the announcement that the Spanish company would focus on the Spanish American War AND the Philippine American conflict got my attention.  I decided to follow the range and save my shekels for a future purchase.

At first I was interested in doing both conflicts, but in April of 2018 Lorri and I agreed I would retire after the 2019 school year. That would mean less hobby money along with my reduced income, and I focused instead on the Philippine War. Why?  Well, it seemed more colonial and provoked a real debate in the United States whether our country would join the ranks of other imperialist nations. It had the added benefit of including more state volunteers than U.S. regulars because most of the latter were packed off to Cuba. Those volunteers included an infantry battalion and a battery from Washington state.  I’m such a homer.

I invested some of my summer camp earnings toward the a down payment on the period, and by August of 2018, I had plenty of figures to work for the U.S. invaders and the Philippine defenders.  There were still some holes the 1898 Miniaturas range, but they were still adding some figures.  Last year, they supplemented their excellent collection of infantry with some very nice mounted leaders and an American Gatling gun.

Unfortunately, the death knell of all figure ranges happens when a manufacturer moves on to another range.  The 1898 folks have done exactly that by creating a range of Spanish miniatures for the early 17th century and Thirty Years War period. They’re nice, but not a range I have any intention of doing, and exactly nothing has happened with their colonial range in over a year.

Tiger 1

The Tiger mountain gun.  The gun is quite serviceable, and comes with a mule and two crew.  The crew members aren’t great, but the mule is awesome. The rules call for four crew so I added a couple of leftover volunteer officers from Old Glory.

What does that mean?  Well, there are definitely some bits that are missing.  No American volunteers, sailors or marines.  No mounted cavalry for the Americans.  There are still some weapons that would be nice to have-Colt machine guns, light artillery more maneuverable in the jungles and mountains of the Philippines.  Philippine soldiers in American service-the Philippine Scouts and Philippine Constabulary would be valuable units in many scenarios.

Tiger 2

This is the Colt machine gun by Tiger in being schlepped formation.  I had an extra Tiger officer to add to the three man crew. I liked these guys.  Big and a little goofy, but not bad at all.

Tiger 3

The ready for battle version of the Colt.  Another Tiger miniature.

To be clear, all the miniatures are available.  Old Glory makes all the extra American infantry and cavalry.  Tiger Miniatures has some of the extra weapons bits.  All the figures are very serviceable, but don’t quite match the quality of the Spanish company’s figures.

It’s got to be really hard to sustain a business in this hobby.  Gamers move from game system to game system, and are attracted by new interests and miniature ranges all the time.  A regular customer becomes a former customer easily and predictably. Balancing a company’s offerings with additional and alternatives to attract the maximum number of buyers only makes sense.  But I won’t hide my disappointment that 1898 Miniaturas has not finished what it began.  Yes, the major pieces are there, but there is still plenty to complete the range.

Just in case you’re interested here is what is available for the Spanish American War and Philippine War from 1898 Miniaturas, Old Glory and Tiger Miniatures


  • Regular Infantry-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • American Buffalo Soldiers, Infantry-1898, Old Glory
  • Dismounted Cavalry-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dismounted Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dismounted Rough Riders–1898, Tiger
  • Volunteer infantry–
  • Mounted Cavalry–Old Glory, Tiger
  • 3.2″ gun and crew–1898, Tiger
  • Artillerists–Old Glory
  • Gatling guns and crew–1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Colt machine gun and crew–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dynamite gun and crew–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Mountain gun and crew–Tiger
  • Marines–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Marine Artillery (one pounder)-Tiger
  • Marines w/Colt machine gun-Tiger
  • Sailors–Old Glory
  • Philippine Constabulary-Tiger
  • Philippine Scouts–Tiger
  • Mounted personalities–1898, Old Glory


  • Spanish Infantry–1898 (many variations), Old Glory (two variations), Tiger (two variations
  • Spanish Civil Guard-Tiger
  • Spanish sailors–Old Glory
  • Spanish Marines–Tiger
  • Spanish Cavalry–Tiger, Old Glory*
  • Spanish mounted infantry-Tiger
  • Spanish mounted personalities–1898
  • Spanish artillery–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Spanish mountain gun–1898, Tiger
  • Spanish Gatling Gun–Tiger
  • Cuban Rebel Infantry–Old Glory, Tiger

*Both Old Glory and Tiger use cavalry interchangeably for Spanish and Cuban rebels.

Philippine Troops

  • Philippine Republic/Native Tagalogs–1898, Tiger
  • Philippine militia w/mixed hand weapons-1898
  • Moros–Old Glory
  • Personalities–1898

It’s December!! Just five months until Enfilade!!

In fact it’s been two weeks since I began this post, so Enfilade is even closer than it was. Yes, still more than five months away, but time is marching on.

I’ve written before that Enfilade usually guides my projects and 2020 will be no different.  In fact, as the convention becomes more popular, with more people attending and more folks hosting games, Enfilade is no longer left begging for games at that last minute.  When the website opens on January 1st there is a stampede of hosts rushing for the best times and best tables. He who has no plan is lost.

I refuse to be lost.  I have a plan

Enfilade has six game periods and I’ll be running games in five of them. Some are finished, play tested and ready to go.  Others still need a lot of work and I’ll offer more about them later.

Here in the order of game periods is my plan:

Friday afternoonMad Wet Max.  This is the armed version of Thunderboats!  It’s kinda cute.  Lots of fun between missile launches, mine laying and the occasional shore-bound audience participation. Good way to start the convention.  No, I have nothing left to prepare beyond a review of the rules.


Friday eveningThe Buffalo Hunt. Another just kinda rollicking good time. I’ve run two of these games now, and I’ve picked up some very good suggestions both times.  Players pick it up okay, so I shouldn’t have any residual headaches. All figures are painted, so aside from one more playtest, I shouldn’t have a lot left to do.

herd 2

Saturday morning:  Nothin’.  I’m taking the morning off. It’s a good time for me to be lazy, look at games, yak with friends, maybe do some shopping or run down to Rainy Day Records . . . or not.

Saturday Afternoon: The Race to the Dan/ Rebels and Patriots. David Sullivan and I were interested in running another R and P game after the success of last year’s Retreat From Concord game. We both have a love of the Southern Campaign so I suggested a scenario that might fit with Green’s retreat to the Dan River and preparation for the Guilford Courthouse Campaign. It should be good, with about ten units per side.  Some are painted, many are not.  David is wisely hoping for several playtests so I’ve already begun painting and am making progress. But I do have minis on order from the UK, and it is Christmas time, so I’m hoping I don’t stall out.

R and P 1

Lee’s Legion foot (in purple) and three small units of Tarleton’s British Legion dragoons are four of the ten our so units I’ll be providing to the Race to the Dan game.

Saturday Evening: Ploesti/Airwar 1940.  This will be a six-player cooperative game as U.S. commanders try to brave the flak, and each other, as they bomb the oil refineries in Romania.  It will be modeled on the scenario that Phil and Paul created for Mustangs! many years ago.  Again, playtests are in order.  I have 11 B-24D’s to paint, so some work to do, but not a lot. A great way to end a day of gaming.


Osprey released its book on the Ploesti attack at the end of November. I think I was first in line to buy.

Sunday:  My Philippine-American War figures will make their official debut.  I have an idea for a six player game that will involve about ten units per side.  There is still a fair amount of painting to do.  Five units for the Americans, two for the Philippines and some miscellaneous weapons.  More daunting is the terrain that will need to be built.  While I have the bamboo forests and rice paddies finished, there is still some miscellaneous jungle terrain I’ll need to do.  Not my long suit.  Like Rebels and Patriots and Ploesti, this will require some playtesting

Philippine 2

Making Rice Paddies

One of the important aspects of this hobby I feel less skilled for is building stuff.  I’m always amazed when my friends are able to create.  One of the best parts of working with Mark Waddington was the man could build ANYTHING.  Well that, and he’s just one of my favorite people.  Those who can imagine and build buildings, a town, a waterfront, my hats are off to you.

Me, I usually just buy stuff, so my boards are boring and sterile.  But the for the Philippines, I simply have to have terrain bits and lots of it.  I’ve built my bamboo forests, there will have to be jungle terrain.  And one other important feature of all Southeast Asian campaigns whether it’s the Philippines, Indochina/Vietnam, Malaysia or Burma is the rice paddy.  If people live near your battlefield, rice paddies are a must.

There are lots of different approaches to take.  This is a link to the paddy project on the Tactical Painter blog.  His approach looks great, but I have different plans.

One important difference is I want to make rice paddies for 28mm.  I also chose some different materials.  That doesn’t mean my way is better, it’s just my way.

Paddies 1

These are all the materials and tools I used to to cobble together the four paddies after cutting the 12″ squares in half with my jigsaw.

I started with craft plywood for the bases.  I buy it from Michael’s, and it’s easy to get.  It’s 1/8″ thick, so thin enough to work with.  It comes 12″ square and I divided those in half, two sheets to make four 6″ X 12″ rice paddies. I built an elevated border around each paddy to represent the path that most grunts had to walk along in Vietnam, and figured they were probably the same in the Philippines. I used basswood strips.  I like basswood better than balsa because it’s sturdier and less porous.

Paddies 2

My carpentry skills are about as bad as they come, but I decided to miter the edges of the basswood sticks that form the edge of the fields. Made some mistakes, but it worked out in the end.

I actually invested in some stuff for this project.  I bought a new razor saw for my X-Acto gear, as well as a miter box.  I actually cut the 45 degree angles because . . . well just because.  Made a few mistakes along the way, but it all seemed to eventually work.  I glued everything down with Elmers wood glue and let it sit for a good long time.

Paddies 3

I used lightweight spackling compound to form the slopes and fill the joints on the paddy fields. I left it to dry overnight before sanding.

The next step is to fill gaps between the basswood and create a slope down to the growing area.  I couldn’t quite decide what to use.  I considered using modeling paste that I use for my bases.  It dries fast, and because it is acrylic, dries hard.  I decided to use lightweight spackling compound instead.  It is a little harder to work with, but easy to sand.  I didn’t worry about keeping straight lines along the edges from top to bottom.  Those slopes wouldn’t be perfect.

I finished applying spackle and let it dry overnight and into the following afternoon. The next step was sanding most of the rough edges. I started with fine sandpaper, and moved to my Dremel tool’s sanding discs.  It went faster and achieved my purpose.  It also allowed me to even up the outer edges of wood which I didn’t manage to get entirely straight with my jigsaw. After each paddy was sanded, they were sprayed with Testor’s Flat Olive green as a base coat.  They were left to dry overnight.

Paddies 4

I sprayed each field with Testor’s Olive Drab. It’s what I had and it’s a good base color. After that I mixed Vallejo Yellow-Green and White to create a contrasting color for dry brushing the edges. Then I created an even lighter version for further contrasts.

The next step was dry-brushing the the paddies.  I wanted to lighten the slopes and tops while darkening the paddies themselves a bit.  To lighten I dry brushed using Vallejo Yellow-Green, lightened with some Vallejo White. I used a large flat brush.  I did two coats, the second lightened even further.  A final round of dry brushing used a little bit of Vallejo Burnt Umber to darken up the middle of the paddy where the rice would be planted.  It was fine for it to be splotchy.  I just wanted it to darken up a little bit and provide a good contrast with lightened edges.

Paddies 6

A final step in the dry-brushing was to use Vallejo Burnt Umber in the middle of the fields. I was just looking for a splotchy, irregular darkening that would show through the gloss gel I’d use over the top.

I followed that up by adding some turf and tufts by Army Painter.  I put the groundcover in random areas, to allow the dry brushing to show through.  After each paddy was completed.  I sprayed each with dullcoat twice.  I wanted to be sure to keep everything in its place.

Paddies 7

I flocked the edges irregularly and applied tufts. I tried to let the dry brushing show through where possible. I wanted an irregular, natural look. Then I added some tufts. I sprayed each paddy with Dullcote twice, to keep things in place. Note: It’s critical to do this before applying the clear gel medium or it will flatten your shiny surface.

Because the paddies are wet, I needed to show the shining surface of the flooded field. There are so many great products available now, from simple clear varnishes to liquid epoxies.  I took a middling approach and brushed all with Liquitex Super Heavy Clear Gloss Gel Medium. Again, I applied it with a large flat brush.  It took about half and hour to paint it on all four paddies.  Then I listened to Steely Dan’s excellent Aja from 1978, and applied a second coat.

Paddies 12

I used Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium applied with a wide flat brush to create the water effects. I did one coat, making sure to get in the crannies of the slope I’d created, then did a second coat of just straight strokes covering the swirls I’d made the first time.

Paddies 8

Voila!! We’re ready for the terminal stage.

Paddies 13

Leadbear’s excellent tufts. 140 of the small tufts per box cost about seven bucks US. They are the best of the tufts I’ve worked with.

To represent the growing rice, I decided to use tufts.  I didn’t want the tufts to be too tall, for fear putting figures on them would just smush them.  I also wanted something easy.  Tufts are a lot easier than attempting to clump together static grass in a pool of clear Elmer’s so tufts were certainly an answer. I’d seen a blurb on Facebook from a friend that he’d recently purchased tufts from Leadbear.  Another friend showed me his considerable collection of Leadbear tufts, and I was impressed.  It happens that Leadbear also has a Facebook page, so I decided to give him a try. Leadbear is Barry from Australia.  He’s a great guy.  His range of products is considerable.  Prices are inexpensive and the shipping isn’t bad.  I’d received my order in August, but hadn’t used them yet-because I always use up what I already have.

I used the 4mm green tufts I’d ordered.  I thought I would keep them in tidy rows.  Great idea.  The tufts themselves were great.  They were irregular in ways those by others I’ve tried aren’t.  They are super sticky in the ways that others aren’t, so no glue.  I hope I don’t regret it later. Of course, because I’m old and half blind, my straight lines and tidy rows wander a bit, as I expect they might in real life.  I used up some two and a half boxes of the three I purchased for the four sets of fields.

Paddies 10

Paddies 11

Done. I think I worked on these over three days. It did require some patience and waiting time, but I feel like it was worth it.

That’s it.  I’m happy with the way they look.  It’s always fun to make something.  I’ve had the materials to do this for some time.  I didn’t feel like painting figures this week, so this was needed and enjoyable diversion.  It did require some patience, which is so unlike me, but it’s one less thing to do later at then end of this project.

Big Bamboo: Terrain for the Philippines

Bamboo 4

The Philippines calls for some interesting terrain pieces.  Much of the the islands are covered with jungle, so I’ve tried to acquire some bits I can make jungle-like terrain from.  I’ve gotten materials I can use to make rice paddies from.  I’ve also picked up some of the Pegasus banana trees.  I haven’t done anything with those yet. But, yesterday, my first since returning from J-Camp, I did sit down to work with materials to build a bamboo forest.

There are some great bamboo trees.  They are available from Amazon.  They are by WINOMO and come 100 trees for $14.95.  They are nice, but I don’t really think I got 100 of them.  100 sounds like a lot, but bamboo forests are very dense.  Think of your average hunk of bamboo.  Thin trunks with some leaves.  They can pack ’em in really tight.  So, you use a lot.

They need to be drilled into a suitable base.  I was poking through my piles o’ stuff and found some very small hills we used for micro armor back in the day.  They are made of resin, and I hauled out the ol’ Dremel tool and drilled lots of holes to an appropriate size and super-glued the bamboo in.  I got through one and half of these hills and ran out of models.  I’ve ordered two more packs for the remaining bits I have.  The resin is nice because they are heavy enough to provide ballast for the all the bamboo.

Bamboo 3

This is my partly completed forest The resin base is drilled out waiting for more bamboo. These may look familiar, and are products of the middle eighties. They are about 7 1/2 inches long and at the widest point about 2 1/2 inches. Something I can use them for rather than sitting in my unused DBA terrain chest. Note the holes are really drilled close together so they can be planted densely.

I use an unusual ground cover for the base.  Spices.  That’s right spices.  The jungle forest floor tends to be covered with leaves, so I wanted something largely representative. I use oregano and basil combined together in a little bowl.  I put down my PVA glue and water and just cover the base with the mixture and let it sit for an hour until good and dry..  Spray with Dullcote and I think it looks pretty good. Even if it doesn’t, it smells like spaghetti. Note, I just use the cheap dried stuff. I also use it on my miniature bases for the Philippines.

I dunno if it looks good but it sure smells great.

And this is the finished product.

Bamboo 5

I’ll have several of these.  There is often lots of bamboo forest in these jungle campaigns.  Very rough going.  American soldiers in Vietnam talk about making about 100 yards per hour cutting through these forests.  I’ll probably make as many as six of these in various sizes and put them on irregular shaped moss sheets available at Jo Ann’s Fabrics for not a ridiculous amount of money.

Moss Sheet

Yes, I know the glare makes this largely unhandy.

The first of several terrain types I’ll be making and I’m pleased to at least get started on them.

State Volunteers in the Philippines

I’ve switched my priorities for the Philippines to painting some Americans.  I’ve been focusing on Old Glory Americans.  Coming 30 to a bag, I can squeeze two units out of each pack.  I only buy OG figure types I can’t get from 1898 Miniaturas.  These include state volunteers, Marines, sailors and some mounted cavalry.

Volunteers 2

Old Glory Volunteers. Though the angles and crevices created by the angles of the rifles can pose some challenges, they are still quite good figures.

The Old Glory figures lack the elegance of the Spanish miniatures, but they are sturdy and representative of the period.  They aren’t as nice as 1898 Miniaturas, but much better in proportion and casting quality than Tiger Miniatures. I also seem to still have an Old Glory Army membership, so when I get logged in they are very inexpensive.

The Philippine-American War is separate from, but very related to outcome of the Spanish American War.  That war, and the subsequent conflict in Asia found the U.S. Army woefully unprepared for the conflict, depending as they did on a small frontier army, dispersed in small units across the country to keep the peace on the borders, near recently pacified native populations.

As the army did during the Civil War, it depended on states to supply volunteer troops as war broke out against a more modern, better-equipped European power with outposts flung, literally, around the world.  We remember Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders as the chief non-regular army unit in Cuba.  But there were others from New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois that served in Cuba from the action Las Guasimas to the siege of Santiago.

With most of the regular army tied down in the Caribbean, and a budding rebellion to quell in the newly acquired U.S. colony in the Philippines, the army turned to the states to supply the bulk of troops.   13,000 of the 15,000 troops deployed to take over Manila from the Spanish were volunteers from California, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington.

Volunteer troops in the Philippines looked similar to US regulars with the dark blue serge shirt, light blue pants, with light brown drab hats and leggings.  State volunteers were mustered back to the US after the first year of the war in favor of federalized US volunteers, so they tended not to have the later brown khaki shirts and pants of troops that appeared after ’99.

A critical difference between volunteers and regulars was in their arms.  US regular infantry and cavalry in the Philippines were armed with the Krag-Jorgensen .30-.40 magazine rifle or carbine that fired smokeless powder cartridges. There were not sufficient Krags to arm the volunteers, so they were given the venerable 1873 model “trap-door” Springfield rifles. These single-shot weapons fired a black-powder cartridge, which left their owners in a more revealing position when fighting Mauser-armed Spanish and Philippine republic troops, though the equal of those with the rolling block Remingtons also widely used.

Volunteer units performed well in the Philippines.  They participated in the campaigns around Manila, assaulted Philippine trenches and blockhouses, and despite their outdated firearms, usually out-shot and out-fought their often better-armed opponents.

Painting the Old Glory figures require persistence.  Many of the rifles are at unfortunate angles and it is critical to remember to get a brush in those hard to reach places with primer (because your spray won’t get there) as well as your paint colors.  I went with Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue for the basic shirt color, and then dry brushed with a mix of DPB and Vallejo Light Gray.  The blue is very thick, so thinning is advised. The pants are painted Vallejo Light Blue-Grey, and the hat and leggings are painted Vallejo Beige-Brown and highlighted. I’ve gone to using Vallejo Neutral Grey for the metal parts of rifles, rather than gunmetal or something else.  I think that works best for late 19th century firearms.

I’ve also acquired additional figures from OG that 1898 Miniaturas show no signs of producing.  These include U.S. Marines, sailors and mounted cavalry.  I’ve finished two of units of Marines.  Not surprisingly, they very much resemble the volunteer figures.  That’s kind of a OG model for completing their ranges.  Honestly there aren’t a lot of differences–the cap replaces the broad-brimmed campaign hat, the shirts are wrong, I think.  The sleeves would have been longer, though the figures do have a higher collar.  Rifles are correct on the model as the Marines carried the unique bolt-action Lee Straight Pull Rifle.

Marines 2


I have tried to stick to my pledge of twelve figures per week and if you average things out, I”ve sort of done that.

July 8th–12 OG Marines plus 8 buffalo of various manufactures.  Remounted one unit of AWI for Rebels and Patriots (which doesn’t really count toward a painting goal.)

July 15th–Finished 5 West Wind buffalo-didn’t quite wrap up those twelve Marines I was working on.  Did remount four American units and one British unit for Rebels and Patriots.

July 22nd–Finished 12 Marines and 8 buffalo from Monday Knight Productions.

So, 45 figures over three weeks, plus some remounting projects.  I’ll take it.  I’ve also started working on William Washington’s 3rd Continental Dragoons for Rebels and Patriots as well as the next round of volunteers for the Philippines.

Status of the Philippine American War project–Five completed American units, six completed Philippine units. About 35% of project complete not including terrain making.

If you’re on Facebook-and I know many of you are not.

I get it if you’re not as more Facebook stupid stuff is revealed every day.  But there are some interesting miniature gaming groups on Facebook, including a Naval Miniatures group, an Air Miniatures group, and a Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming group.

This week David Sullivan created a Vintage Miniature Wargaming Rules Group that has just been hilarious to watch.  All the rules that posters have shared.  It’s been great.  Only a couple of rules sets have been trashed and most are simply haloed by fond memories.  Great job David. Here are some that I have shared. (Yes, I do actually own them, and lament the passing of many sets I once owned but no longer have.)


Insurrectos with Bolos


The Great Puget Sound Snowpocalypse of 2019 played havoc with the school schedule, but it did contribute to progress on Smyth’s painting table.  I wrapped up the light infantry and militia for the Concord project.  I also began work on the grenadiers for the same battle.


My three painted Philippine units. I have plenty more to do, and probably a fair number more to buy. All Miniaturas 1898, all fun to paint, if a bit of a challenge

But I took some time out to work on a different unit for my Philippine-American War project.  I decided to do one of the Tagalog tribal units.  These unit were pretty ubiquitous, particularly on the islands other than Luzon where firearms could be a bit less plentiful.  In The Men Who Would Be Kings, these are 18-figure units.  No rayadillo to worry about.  Most of the figures would be wearing white.

Miniaturas 1898 has some very nice figures for Tagalog insurrectos, as opposed to the troops in the Republican army.  They have figures armed with just bolos, the long machete-like knives the tribal troops became infamous for.  There is also a pack of fighters armed with mixed melee and missile troops, including bamboo spears, bows and arrows and even a crossbow. I added these troops together with six rifle armed figures to give me the kind of mixed shooter and melee troops I was looking for. I gave them one of the “special” Antonio Bonifacio figures as a leader and standard bearer.

Hard to see the rayadillo in the photos, much easier to see with your eye.  It’s hard to paint, but very satisfying when finished.

The unit was pretty easy to paint.  Most have a first coat of Vallejo Grey-White.  Then I highlight with white and go back and paint the creases with a mix of Grey-White and Vallejo Light Grey.  It provides a decent contrast with the light base color without the starkness of just Light Grey alone.  I also used Vallejo Tan Earth, lightened for highlight, as well as Vallejo Flat Red.  The latter I highlighted with Scarlet, and then lightened for a second highlight.

All this highlighting and drybrushing is kind of new to me, so I’m learning a lot with this project.  But it’s fun and hasn’t turned out badly. I’ve also changed my rifle-painting for this project.  Instead of using metal, I’ve gone to Vallejo Neutral Gray for the barrels and gun furniture, It’s still a darkish color without the sheen of a metal color.  The Philippine troops would have used Remington Rifles with a few of the modern Mausers thrown in.  The Americans would have used Krag-Jorgensen rifles and carbines, with volunteer troops and the Philippine Scouts using old trapdoor Springfields.

I did make a purchase this month.  I picked up a pack of Old Glory U.S. Cavalry from their Spanish American War range.  There isn’t a rush to do them.  I’m sure I’ll stick to the Philippine figures until what I have is done or nearly so. I also picked up their bag of U.S. volunteers.

Originally the Volunteers were drawn from the states, and they served generally quite effectively in the campaign outside of Manila.  They are replaced by regulars and U.S. Volunteers as the battle shifts north and south away from capital.  The difference is the weapons the state volunteers begin the campaign with 1873 “trapdoor” Springfield.  They use it fairly effectively, but it is not a repeating rifle, just a breech-loader, and it fires black powder cartridges. There is a battalion of Washington State Volunteers on Luzon, together with a battery of artillery, and homer that I am, you can imagine what I’ll be painting.

Looking at the Old Glory range, they have a couple more desirable packs.  I’m sure that at some point I will also order a bag each of sailors and Marines.  These troops played a valuable role in the amphibious operations that were necessary in all parts of the archipelago.


With all the snow, we had to postpone our big Concord walk-through all the way to March 23rd.  I’ll have all the troops I need to paint completed by then.  I’m anxious to finish the 36 grenadiers I have left so I can paint–anything I bloody well please.  Got lots I’d like to mess around with.